Title: Emiratisation: from policy to implementation

Authors: Batoul Modarress; A. Ansari; Diane L. Lockwood

Addresses: College of Business Sciences, Zayed University, P.O. Box 144534, Abu Dhabi, UAE ' Department of Marketing, Albers School of Business and Economics, Seattle University, Seattle, WA 98211, USA ' Department of Management, Albers School of Business and Economics, Seattle University, Seattle, WA 98211, USA

Abstract: Emiratisation is an affirmative action policy of the United Arab Emirates Government that gives preferential hiring status to Emiratis over expatriates in order to preserve national identity, economic sustainability, and political stability. Although the policy has been practiced for a decade, the unemployment problem for Emiratis persists in the both private and public sectors. According to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) National Human Resources Development and Employment Authority, unemployment among Emiratis reached 12.7% or 290,000 in 2010. This surge in unemployment results from a massive reliance on foreign workforce employment throughout the UAE region. Given the absence of empirical data, this research relies on published government documents, personal interviews with public officials and private sector executives, and a survey questionnaire. Findings indicated that seven factors largely contribute to a disparity between the Emiratisation policy and its intended results. Several recommendations are offered for future research and possible Emiratisation policy revisions.

Keywords: Emiratisation; public policy; implementation; affirmative action; United Arab Emirates; UAE; preferential hiring status; national identity; economic sustainability; political stability; unemployment; foreign workforce.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHRDM.2013.055395

International Journal of Human Resources Development and Management, 2013 Vol.13 No.2/3, pp.188 - 205

Received: 17 Dec 2011
Accepted: 12 Sep 2012

Published online: 19 Jul 2014 *

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